[Adduser-devel] Bug#604242: Bug#604242: [patch] Allow dots in username by default

Stephen Gran sgran at debian.org
Sun Nov 21 17:42:04 UTC 2010

This one time, at band camp, Milan Bouchet-Valat said:
> I don't think there's a reason not to allow usernames to contain dots
> (.), as they are also allowed to contain underscores (_) and dashes (-).
> useradd accepts this.
> Attached is a patch that makes dots be allowed just as other special
> chars. One could also add the point in this line in /etc/adduser.conf:
> #NAME_REGEX="^[a-z][-a-z0-9_]*\$"
> but providing a patch for that makes the change harder to perform! ;-)
> This fix would be appreciated for the gnome-system-tools, because
> currently users-admin says dots are accepted, and this is false on
> Debian. Saying dots are not allowed would be an issue because other
> platforms allow for them, which means Debian should carry a specific
> patch...

-  $configref->{"name_regex"} = "^[a-z][-a-z0-9_]*\$";
-  $configref->{"name_regex_system"} = "^[A-Za-z][-A-Za-z0-9_]*\$";
+  $configref->{"name_regex"} = "^[a-z][-a-z0-9_.]*\$";
+  $configref->{"name_regex_system"} = "^[A-Za-z][-A-Za-z0-9_.]*\$";

That's a regex, so a bare . is almost certainly not what you want there.

Why does users-admin use adduser instead of useradd?  It's not that
it shouldn't, but adduser is primarily designed as a policy compliant
method for maintainers to interface in a policy compliant way with user
management in maintainer scripts - extending it to be a general purpose
user management script for all manner of environments isn't what it's
aimed at, and I'm not convinced it will be a good thing to make it
general purpose.  I think before changing the naming policy of adduser,
it does make sense to stop for a moment and check if you're using the
right tool for the job.

|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran at debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |
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